Wellington 12th Nov. 10-18°C, Fine, light winds.
Calm seas predicted across Cook strait. Fingers crossed, so far so good as 'Kaitaki' sails into open water with just a gentle roll. Lovely day for a sail, as they say.
On leaving Wellington Harbour, we were joined by a large pod of dolphins for a short while.
Good coffee and muffins, cakes at the Local Heroes cafe, near the Lookout atrium aft (that's to the back, landlubbers). Hot breakfast fwd.
Entering Queen Charlotte Sound, the wind dropped and the sea became quite calm. Great views port & starboard(sorry) as the ship manouvered very tightly in some places. The Sound widens as we approach the picturesque port of Picton.
Picked up a new hire car, drove the scenic route to Havelock. Some very nice views along the way but mostly concerned with negotiating tight corners. Thankfully the best viewpoints have a car park. Cullen's Point required a 500M hike up a pretty steep track, it was very nice but I'm not sure it was worth the effort.
Came back to Picton the longer but easy way via Blenheim. Vineyards, vineyards, vineyards, most with cellar door tastings and restaurants. Just before Blenheim, on SH6 between Fromm's Winery and Woodbourne, there is one kilometre of roses trained alongside the road at the end of the vine rows. All were in full bloom, very pretty.
Turned off back towards Picton, stopping at the beautifully restored Blenheim Railway Station. This is now 'The Wine Station', winning 'Best wine venue 2018' declares the sign outside. Not only wine tasting and sales, there's coffee and food as well. Marlborough Region produces arguably some of the world's best Sauvignon Blanc wines.